Popular Mechanics acquired an inside perspective on the upcoming Audi A5 coupe and convertible that we've heard talk of for some time. At an informal dinner in the heart of French-Canada, or more exactly Montreal, Popular Mechanics operatives questioned Audi of America's Executive Vice President, John De Nysschen, about the new model. de Nysschen outlined how the A5 would be positioned above the A4 Cabriolet in Audi's line and the A5 Cabriolet would eventually replace the drop-top A4.

This would place the A5 between the BMW 3-Series and 6-Series, and aim it squarely at the Mercedes-Benz CLK. When the car is launched in the spring of 07 (that's soon) in Europe, it will be offered with Audi's increasingly ubiquitous 4.2-liter V8. Transmission choices will include a six-speed manual, a six-speed automatic, and a new version of the DSG gearbox. Perhaps we will even see a seven-speed second-generation DSG in the new car.

The key difference between the new A5 and the rest of Audi's lineup is that the engine will now be placed behind the front axle. In today's Audi's the engine hangs in front of the front axle, and obviously bringing the engine back will help with mass centralization and front-rear weight balance. We can safely assume the new drivetrain will include Audi's revised Quattro with more rear wheel bias, which will complement the new engine placement.

[Source: Popular Mechanics]

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